INDIANAPOLIS – This is how the linebacker position was expected to play out for the Colts this offseason.
Financially, Bobby Okereke just no longer fit the Colts already expensive puzzle at linebacker.
But the team had room to retain E.J. Speed, who is a top special teamer and still has some potential to further tap into.
On Tuesday night, the Colts reportedly re-signed Speed on a 2-year deal worth up to $9 million, with Okereke joining the Giants on a 4-year deal hovering around $40 million.
Bringing back Speed gives the Colts the special teamer who played the most ST snaps for them last season and is a high upside insurance policy for Shaquille Leonard.
In 4 NFL seasons, Speed has definitely shown flashes—both on special teams and defensively.
Speed should enter this season as the 3rd linebacker, assuming Leonard is healthy. Zaire Franklin returns after his breakout season.
Normally, a player entering his 5th NFL season, like Speed is, wouldn’t be viewed as some high potential option.
But that could be there at the age of 27.
His growth, which was needed coming out of Tarleton State in 2019, has been there.
Is there more?
Even if not, Speed still is a needed special teams piece with the ability to provide some depth with uncertainty around Leonard.
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